About 10 minutes after the Twins wrapped up a 6-4 victory over the Indians, the Twins selected UNC shortstop Levi Michael. Michael, one of the top middle infielders in the draft, is a switch hitter with lots of tools. He projects as a good on-base type hitter with some speed. He probably won’t ever be a big power threat, but he did manage to hit 13 home runs in his freshman year at North Carolina. Middle infield is a position of need throughout the Twins’ system, and Michael should provide a much needed boost.
According to MLB.com, Michael may not project as a shotrstop long term, as his range has been questioned, and he doesn’t have a cannon arm. A move to second base may be in his future. Michael may have gone higher in the draft if not for an ankle injury that cost him part of his 2011 season.
This selection discontinues the recent trend in which the Twins spend their top picks on college pitchers, like Kyle Gibson and Alex Wimmers. One intriguing pitcher who was still on the board was TCU lefty Matt Purke, who many mock drafts had projected as a top 10 pick. We’ll see if they draft some college arms with their supplemental selections at #50 and #55.
There was some speculation that the Twins would pick Hawaii 2B Kolten Wong in the draft. The speculation was based largely on the fact that the Twins spend a 16th pick on him a few years ago, before he opted to go to college instead. Perhaps they would have taken Wong again, but they never got the chance. Wong went to the Cardinals with pick #22.